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No. 2 reactor at second nuclear plant resumes operations

2018/03/27 16:05:42

Image taken from Taipower's official website.

Taipei, March 27 (CNA) The No. 2 reactor at the Second Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei resumed operations Tuesday and could run at full capacity in four days, depending on operating conditions, state-run Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower) said.

Operations began at 12:55 p.m. after the company received permission from the Atomic Energy Council (AEC) earlier in the day to do so, Taipower said.

The reactor had been shut down since May 16, 2016, when some of its surge arresters burned down because of an excessive voltage level. Taipower decided to overhaul the reactor.

On Feb. 5, Taipower applied for AEC approval to restart the reactor after completing the overhaul, but it was not until March 5 that the AEC determined the reactor could run again without safety concerns.

The AEC issued a formal document on March 20 giving Taipower the green light to restart the reactor.

A fully operational second reactor will give Taipower more flexibility in supplying power as the weather turns warmer.

As summer approaches, the state-owned utility wants to keep its operating reserve margin -- the percentage of total generating capacity available above peak demand conditions -- at 6 percent or more to accommodate an expected increase in electricity use.

The operating reserve margin fell below 2 percent at times last August, leaving Taiwan vulnerable to plant breakdowns and power shortages.

According to Taipower data, the electricity the No. 2 nuclear power plant generated accounted for 7.84 percent of the total in 2014.

(By Huang Ya-chun and Elizabeth Hsu)